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The F Files

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The F Files

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Bob Dylan 1963


The snow is GONE, I mean it is gone, gone, gone. The sky has changed from a sickly gray pallor to a brilliant Mediterranean blue (ahh the Mediterrean, where kalamata olives and fresh feta cheese roam free or at least at a really good bargain, I miss shopping at Trader Joes so very very much.) Something is definitely different in the atmosphere here; the air has a fresh almost floral fragrance that makes absolutely no sense as there are no flowers in bloom. Yet there are patches of what appear to be daffodil bulbs literally springing up all over the hills, the lawn, and the banks of the creeks.

I have watched for the first time in my life bright red cardinals and red-breasted robins twittering and flittering on our garden fence and office window ledge. Birds I have only seen in photos from my mother’s various magazines or her ceramic bird collection. I am overwhelmed by my own realization that living in the big city all of my life has led me to lead a very sheltered one. I mean really, why do I need the skill of spotting the Transvestite at a bar or why should I know that there are 20 ounces in a Venti Cap?

On the second day of spring Jon and I were on the back porch discussing the various projects that lay ahead of us: repairing the dam that broke during a heavy storm at the big pond, green house, workshop, outdoor bread/pizza oven, and gorilla statue with motion detector led lights hidden in the hills, a typical Seay family conversation. While we continued our list, we watched as song birds flew overhead, the guinea hens squawked “n” scratched the ground for grubs and the dogs yawned while stretching out on the grass for lazy midday siesta. Yep, it was clear there were changes occurring.

In an instant, our serenity was interrupted by a wall of sound far creepier than Phil Spector. The sound echoed through the hills, bounced off the tin roof and back again. Concerned and confused, Jon and I asked each other the same question: “What the Hell is that???” There was something so mechanical yet natural about it, a high pitched whirring with a metronome like chirping. Was it a logging vehicle stuck on our property, desperate to flee the scene of the crime? Was it the mother ship coming to take us away to a new Celestial home? Was it a mating call of the Yeti – Sasquatch – Big Foot rumored to be roaming around these hills for years? Perhaps it was an injured Mothman from Salem, WV? What ever it was, we knew we had to check it out.

“Where are the high powered flashlights?” I exclaim as we head off to investigate…

“Why do we need flashlights?” Said Jon in his curiously skeptical way…

“Cause you’re Mulder and I’m Scully, and the X-Files always starts out with flashlights” I said in a matter of fact way.

“We don’t need flashlights, Annie, since it’s the middle of the day and we’re only walking a few hundred feet, besides I’m not David Duchovney”

“Too bad, he’s hot” I mutter under my breath…

“And you’re no Gillian Anderson” he mutters under his breath.

We head out towards the spillway at the broken dam; the sound is so loud we can hardly hear each other. I stop at the spillway; water is coming over the top and through cracks and holes. I wonder aloud if the holes and cracks from the spillway in combination with the heavy water flow could produce this type of sound, like the Wave Organ in San Francisco. Jon stands next to me, listens, and explains that the holes and cracks in the spillway aren’t wide, deep or long enough to make a noise that loud, moving on we climb up the hill to the big pond.

As we reached the top we are shocked by the amount of large bubbles floating a top the water, though the sound had softened. Standing ever so still in silence we watched and waited; within minutes, the sound was back just as loud as ever. Looking closer we knew, it wasn’t the Yeti or Mothman, and darn it all if it wasn’t a UFO. Looking closer, we saw them, hundreds of them --- frogs. Jumping and swimming, chirping and whirring, diving under creating bubbles on the surface. Our big pond was the Club Med for Frogs – they even had drink tickets too!

Upon further investigation and research, it appears that these frogs, the spring peepers, were just singing to let us know that the times they are a changin’ to spring! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy spring to all!

 

 

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Amazing Spring Peeper Facts:

Chorus frogs and spring peepers are roughly 3 cm long--not much more than an inch!

Surprisingly little is known about these frogs. Their songs are conspicuous, but the animals aren't; it's hard for scientists even to find them outside the early spring breeding season.

As land is developed, many amphibian species disappear. Chorus frogs and spring peepers are more likely to remain than most other species, because they use the wetland the developers can't do much with, and they don't need a large area to survive.

*reference: http://www.unc.edu/depts/cmse/
nature/springfrogs.html




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